On track incidents afflicted all three Fall–Line Motorsports entries in the BMW Performance 200 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at Daytona International Speedway, leaving the best of the trio to finish 19th.
Despite the disappointing finish all three cars were running well during the race, converting their top ten starting spots into front-running positions early in the race.
Unfortunately the team’s problems also started early in the race, Mark Boden hitting the turn five tyre wall in the #46 after being forced off the track by a pair of battling slower cars, the incident one of several that brought out the first of the race’s three full course caution periods.
At the end of the caution there were further problems. Caught out as race leader Nick Longhi failed to accelerate as expected at the restart Brett Sandberg, in Fall-Line’s #48 BMW M3, clipped the leader into a spin and though he escaped, maintaining a position at the front of the race teammate Al Carter could not avoid contact as the field bunched up behind the initial incident, severely damaging the Eagle Technology and B+ Foundation sponsored car.
As with Boden’s car the team worked to return the #48 to the race, Hugh Plumb taking over the car’s return to track to finish 26th in class. Boden, sharing with Bryan Sellers, would finish 29th.
Running in fifth as the team’s only remaining chance of scoring a race win to start the season Sandberg became a victim in another incident, striking debris as the car he was following into the bus stop chicane blew a tyre. The underside of the car damaged Charles Espenlaub tried to nurse the wounded car – without fourth gear – to the finish and was running ninth when the earlier damage turned terminal. He and Sandberg would be credited with 19th.
“This was clearly not the result we expected or deserved,” said team manager Michael Harvey. “We had three great racecars out there today but we didn’t get to show our performance. It’s disappointing to work so hard all winter and to come to the first race and be a victim of others’ poor decisions. We were proud to take BMW to the front but as racing goes sometimes incidents beyond your control make for a hard day. All the credit to the Fall-Line crew for rising up never giving up. We will re-group and come back from this, as we always do, and move on and look toward Austin.”